Creativity is one of the least understood areas of human ability. Our ideas about our creative selves are too frequently discouraged in our early years by others whose ability to judge this matter should be questionable at best. So if your art teacher told you that creativity isn't in your paint brush let alone in your genes, he or she has seriously underestimated you.
On the one hand, there is a strong argument for believing that creativity is an ingrained ability. Child prodigies like Mozart and Shirley Temple may lend credence to the argument that talent and creativity are something you're just born with - that there is some genetic component at work. However, regardless of the existence of a creative gene pool, it would be wrong for us to assume that we can't learn to be creative. Many successful artists tell the tale of countless discouragements prior to their success, when only their commitment, desire, hard work and belief in self allowed them to attain success.
Neurologists speak of brain elasticity; the ability of the brain to reinforce and strengthen neurological pathways through continued usage. If we think of the brain as a muscle that grows stronger when exercised repeatedly, then wouldn't it be logical to assume that our creativity will also strengthen with frequent flexing?
If it's not already obvious, the main lesson about nurturing creativity is this: one of the biggest obstacles that hold back creative potential is belief systems. Some false beliefs that can inhibit creativity include the following:
To nurture creativity in employees, it's important to uncover if there are any psychological obstacles that can be snuffing their creative fire. Psychtests' Creativity and Problem-Solving Aptitude Test can help HR managers unravel a person's creative hang-ups, while their Analytical Reasoning Test can help employees stretch, flex, and strengthen that creative "muscle" between their ears.